Category: Case Studies

Category: Case Studies

Poverty and Depression as a Result of COVID-19 Has Affected The Youth In Kenya.

 

Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has adversely affected the mental and socioeconomic well-being of young Kenyans, a new survey reports.

The study, which was conducted by AMREF Health Africa between April 30 and May 5 across all the 47 counties, in alliance with the Ministry of Health, Population Council and Youth in Action, indicates that the effects of Covid-19, such as loss of jobs, have heightened stress levels among young people, worsening their mental and health well-being.

“Covid-19 is having significant negative effects on the mental health, economic and social status of the youth: nearly a third (27 percent) are experiencing more stress and 30 percent have reported living in fear,” the report notes.

SEE ALSO: The Corona Hairstyle Is Spreading An Important Message About Covid-19 In Kenya

 

 

youth unemployment in kenya

Economic Effects

The main source of worry and stress for young people is the reduction of income and complete loss of jobs amidst rising expenses, the report says.

This is as 50 percent of young Kenyans have suffered from a significantly reduced income whereas 22.9 percent of the Kenyan youth have lost their source of livelihood due to the virus epidemic.

The report also added, “34 percent of young Kenyans experienced increases expenses in the house and 33 percent experienced an increase in food prices, with more females than males experiencing an increase in household expenses (36.7 percent vs 31.9 percent) and increase in food prices (34.5 percent vs 32.6 percent”.

 

Ballooning violence

According to the findings of the report, the group also recorded an increase in violence at home. 1.7 percent of the respondents revealed that they have been victims of violence at home during the pandemic period.

The changes in normal roles and routines create stress for family members, including children who cannot attend school and may not know why they cannot.

Additionally, parents must struggle to strike a balance between explaining the pandemic to their children without heightening their fear.

For parents who also double up as health care workers, the conflict between being professionals and infecting their families become real.

These conflicts are likely to cause feelings of guilt, fear, and anxiety, among others.

Lastly, as home environments become toxic due to depressed affect, school closures, and diminishing resources among others, the odds of family violence increase.

 

SEE ALSO: Fighting Against Gender-Based Violence During The Covid-19 Pandemic in Kenya

 

Mental Health

Fear, worry, and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, and at times when we are faced with uncertainty or the unknown.

So it is normal and understandable that youth in Kenya are experiencing fear in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Added to the fear of contracting the virus in a pandemic such as COVID-19 are the significant changes to our daily lives as our movements are restricted in support of efforts to contain and slow down the spread of the virus.

Most are struggling with anxiety and depression because they are faced with new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends, and colleagues.

 

Police Brutality

At least six people died from police violence during the first 10 days of Kenya’s dusk-to-dawn curfew, imposed on March 27, 2020, to contain the spread of Covid-19. As of today, the number has shot up to 12 which includes children.

The police, without apparent justification, shot and beat people at markets or returning home from work, even before the daily start of the curfew.

Police have also broken into homes and shops, extorted money from residents, or looted food in locations across the country.

It is shocking that people are losing their lives and livelihoods while supposedly being protected from infection.

Police brutality isn’t just unlawful; it is also counterproductive in fighting the spread of the virus.

SEE ALSO:  Tips For Parents During The Coronavirus Outbreak – Infographics

 

Access To Medical Care

Five percent of women cannot access emergency pills or sanitary towels due to the movement restrictions, while eight percent of men reported a lack of access to condoms.

Youth with HIV have also been affected adversely, with 2.3 percent saying that Covid-19 has cut off their access to ARV medication and 4.7 percent noting that they are unable to access HIV/AIDS counseling.

Additionally, nearly half of the young people surveyed indicated that they would not be able to self-isolate if infected with Covid-19 due to reduced income or loss of jobs, which makes them unable to afford isolation.

Diseases will not also wait for coronavirus to be over!!

SEE ALSO: How To Manage Your Mental Health During Self Isolation

 

Conclusion

Regardless of these effects, the report shows that an overwhelming majority of young Kenyans are taking the necessary precautions.

They are adopting positive behavior to avoid infection with Covid-19, practicing hand hygiene, and wearing personal protective equipment since they started to receive messages on Covid-19.

For instance, 99 percent of young people are avoiding travel, 98 percent are using masks in public, 98 percent are washing hands, and 20 percent using hand sanitizers.

Little is known about the experiences of our people under public health protocols in terms of compliance, difficulties, and psychological impact.

The resulting interruption of filial and other bonds due to fears about infecting self and others, and/or avoidance behaviors during and post-isolation are issues of concern to social scientists.

Further, public health protocols that directly contradict long-held traditions, for instance, concerning how and when burials are to be conducted has ramifications for their success.

Finally, fear of social stigma for those infected may cause people to deny early symptoms and consequently fail at early diagnosis.

It is important to note that early diagnosis is essential for the management of a new disease as COVID-19.

Therefore, it is important to understand how people perceive interventions and what psychological mechanisms are triggered by coercive measures.

 

The ‘Corona Hairstyle’ Is Spreading an Important Message About COVID-19 in Kenya.

Who could have imagined that a Simple Hairstyle would become a conversation starter and fundraising tool for COVID-19? 

Necessity is the mother of invention!

These women in Kibera Slum, an Informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya are using a hairstyle to raise Awareness about Coronavirus.

Its called the “Coronavirus Hairstyle”.

The “corona hairstyle” is shaped just like the virus: it has long spikes and a small circular crown.

Other hairstylists hope it will bring much-needed community awareness about the pandemic in this area.

Some salons in Kibera Slum charge 1 dollar to make a hairstyle very popular amongst children in Kibera.

This in turn sends a message of awareness about the new virus.

 

Corona hairstyle

Jane Mbone, 7, arrives home after having her hair styled in the shape of the new coronavirus at the Mama Brayo Beauty Salon in the Kibera slum.

 

A hairstyle that has popularly been around Africa for many years has become much more than a look in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kenya currently has 715 cases of COVID-19 and has put measures into effect to combat the pandemic, such as implementing curfews and releasing of prisoners.

Hairstyles have historically carried meaning in Africa, from revealing a wearer’s relationship status to their family’s social standing.

Variations of the “corona hairstyle” have been plaited from generation to generation.

Sharon Refa, a hairstylist in the slum feels that there still needs to be aware of how to protect oneself and others from coronavirus.

coronavirus hairstyle

 

 

“Many Slumdwellers don’t believe that the coronavirus is real,” Refa said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends regularly washing hands with water and soap or cleaning them with a sanitizer.

They also recommend wearing masks and social distancing when in public.

But another challenge Kenya faces in its fight against COVID-19 is lack of clean water and sanitation.

According to Water.org, a digital platform that advocates for access to water and sanitation, 41% of Kenyans get their water supply from ponds, shallow wells, and rivers, while 71% of the population lack access to sanitation. The challenges are even more pronounced in slums like Kibera.

Refa added that many adults in her community are reluctant to wear masks or use hand sanitizer, which is why she and her colleagues came up with the “corona hairstyle,”. The hairstyle also helps in communicating with the public about the virus.

The corona hairstyle is a way to be stylish on a seriously tight budget. Millions of people across the world have lost their jobs, food security, and businesses as a result of COVID-19.

The most affected sectors are transport, aviation, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, wholesale and trade, agriculture, and the informal sector.

In Kenya, 83% of total employment in 2018 was in the informal sector.

The reality of the toll Covid-19 is taking on the economy is only beginning to hit home, with 133,657 Kenyans said to have been rendered jobless.

Nonprofits are also doing the best they can to create awareness and help where they can in terms of food, water, soap, and sanitary effects.

Which are some of the innovative ways you have seen that have been used to create awareness about COVID-19? Feel Free to Share in the comments below.

 

RELATED CONTENT:

Fighting Against Gender-Based Violence During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Kenya.

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An Incredible Story of Child Marriage.

 

 

Case Study: Meet Marion, a PGIO Beneficiary

Meet Marion Wikale, a form One student In Nile Road Day Secondary School in Jericho, Makadara District. Nile Road Secondary School was not her dream high School but a school she found herself in due to unavoidable circumstances. She had first been admitted to A few months before Marion had to join High School, she had to deal with the emotional stress of her father who she really idolized leaving their family for another woman. Her mother, Teresiah Waruguru had to step up as the sole breadwinner. Marion could not join the School she had been accepted to despite her good grades. Like any other firstborn, she was worried about her mother’s emotional state, being unemployed and her capabilities of providing for the family, let alone pay for a Boarding School. Marion, therefore, settled to attend a Day School near home since it was cheaper and she could look out for her mother. The School is way below her potential since she is very bright and proactive.

Teresiah Waruguru, Marion’s mother was abandoned by her husband ( a Doctor)just when Marion was about to join High School. Teresiah is a high school drop-out and so it has been difficult for her to land a job with a stable income so she has resorted to doing casual jobs like doing laundry, vending food like chapattis and mandazis, and any other casual job she can do just to put food on the table. She is therefore incapable of paying school fees for her two daughters Marion and Angela who is still at Middle School.

Protect Girls Image has provided psychosocial support for the family especially Marion who has really been affected by her Father’s absence and the drastic change in the quality of life. She fell into Depression, had self-esteem issues and was isolating herself. One of our counselors had sessions with her for therapy every week where she learned to cope and be positive despite her circumstances.

71% of High School Drop Outs come from Fatherless homes. It is no guarantee that children with involved Dads won’t struggle in school. However, when the Dad is not in the picture, the feeling of abandonment leaves a child unable to trust and leads to behavioral issues, depression, likely to be sexually active at a young age and likely to abuse drugs.

As much as the psychosocial support she has received from PGIO has helped, she still is suffering due to lack of school fees. She misses her classes a lot after being sent home and catching up becomes difficult. Marion needs stability in her education since she is very bright and would like to help her family and society after becoming a successful Engineer.

If you would like to help in any way with Marion’s case, please scroll down to the Donate Button or Contact the Organization through info@protectagirlsimage.org . Every Dollar/ Shilling Counts.